Beatrix Potter's Cats
The Tailor of Gloucester was originally written for Freda Moore, one of Annie Moore's many children, as a Christmas present in 1901. Much like Peter Rabbit, Potter would borrow back the story to redraw and edit the text. In this fairy story, Simpkin the cat is the wicked foil to the good mice who help the tailor.
The model for her cats were borrowed from many people including workmen and neighbors in the village. The model for Miss Moppet came from one of the masons working on her home at Hill Top. The kitten proved to be quiet fiesty. Potter described her as "very young and pretty and a most fearful pickle."
The Tale of Tom Kitten was set, as many of the tales would be, in Potter’s beloved Sawrey, the Lake District town where she bought her first property, Hill Top, in 1905. Tom Kitten would feature Potter's Hill Top Garden and farm yard.
Cats featured in many of Potter’s story, often putting on tea parties or running businesses with unlikely animal partners. In a letter to a school mistress who owned the yellow haired cat that would become Ginger she noted “ His colour is so unusual, I thought it a shame to cover him up with clothes in the pictures, but unfortunately there is a demand for comic animals in coats and trousers.”